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Because I can’t even, I may as well be odd.

Published July 15, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Last night I had a nightmare. I dreamed that my kitten, Sabrina, originally belonged to somebody else and they came to claim her. Now, this is in no way possible because Sabrina is a rescue and I’ve had here for almost a month and unless someone owned her in utero (catero?) she is mine.

This is the second nightmare I have had in recent memory.  Upon waking I thought, “I want my mother.”  That gave me pause because I am forty-nine years old and because it made me think that the living nightmare that the refugee children are facing. I’m sure they all want their moms, too.

Let that issue put an icy finger of angina on your soul as I move on to the next thing.

Rodolfo Rodriguez was assaulted with a concrete brick as he walked down the street on his way to a park near Los Angeles. Because I can’t even you can check it out here.

The pictures of this poor man make me think of my grandfathers, but Senor Rodriguez looks quite a bit like my great grandfather, Refugio Aguilar.

Refugio Aguilar was a full-blood Tarascan Indian from Mexico.  He worked as a switchman for the railroad and once walked from North Fort Worth to Oklahoma for a job. He was married to  Isaura  Rodriguez.  He was her second husband.  We (my family) don’t really know what happened to her first husband because he was seperated from her and her children at the border.  (Ringing a bell with anyone out there?)  My generation doesn’t know much about this because no one will talk about it. There is one living child, my great aunt Katie, who might know something about it, but as far as I know, she won’t talk about it.   That happened three generations ago and my family is still facing emotional trauma over immigration issues.

In case you have room for another icy finger of angina, (I’m doing a kind of three finger monkey’s paw thing for those of you playing the home game.)  here’s another bit of maddening immigration news.

The Mom just started her new job as DRE (Director of Religious Education) at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.   This parish is about 85% Hispanic.  One of the priests is from Mexico. He has a Green Card. He is a priest. He is in the US to serve the Catholic Community of North Fort Worth. He is not here to open up an arms dealership or anything sketchy.

The Mom told me that ICE and Homeland Security pay regular visits To The Church to hassle the Priest about his paperwork.

Apparently the sanctuary thing doesn’t apply to priests.

This situation is giving The Mom nightmares

I can remember a time when it was okay to go to church or walk around and be Mexican at the same time.

Maybe THAT was all a dream.

Where was that line?

Published July 10, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

There have been a number of blog worthy, rage inducing moments in my world. These things have been complicated by a dearth of First World Problems, like the air conditioning not working because the batteries to the thermostat died. (Surprise, I actually had the right size and number of batteries to fix the problem.) The other problems include forgetting to charge my laptop (I could feel first world guilty about my expensive, three year old Macbook, but I refuse to because I earned it by working at a soul robbing, chest pain inducing job teaching theatre to 160 students per day. I spent the whole year staying in on Saturday nights and bringing a lunch every day, just so I could walk into the Apple store and say, “Gimme one of them”) And, of course not using the time away from writing to install all of the updates necessary to making the whole shebang work more efficiently.

While I was AFK, here’s what happened:

As I feared the veil has fallen from my view of several people I have known for years and I was drawn into a Facebook rant by someone I went to college with.  She, who was also raised Catholic, posted one of those “the Democrats did it too!” videos.  I replied with my opinion, “It doesn’t matter who did it, it has to stop.”  This person responded with ” I agree, I just thought it interesting.” I mentioned that the public doesn’t really know what’s going on and that’s one thing that doesn’t change.  She actually said, “Both the government and the illegals coming in.”

Seriously, how can someone look into my little brown, albeit virtual, face and say that.  I am not illegal. My family has been in the US for three generations, but I am not entirely sure of how we actually got here. But considering that most of Texas was part of Mexico, I don’t think that really matters. In  the course of this conversation, including my having to block someone who is also made in America of Mexican parts.

I firmly stated that as a Catholic I am firm in my stance on helping anyone who is seeking refuge and peace. Someone remarked:

“While i applaud your choice to help refugees, would you put refugee children with your children or gran children? Theres a story here coming from a border patrolman regarding the hardness of these same refugee children children, a good heart is beautiful but even a good heart has to be cautious lest those you love pay for your generosity.”

And me:

“I would have no problem with putting refugee children with my child. I am blessed with a son who has a kind and giving heart. I teach in a Catholic school and my mission is to nurture and teach and protect all children.”

Him”  To each their own i suppose. All children are not innocent. To some kindness is a firm of weakness. Good luck.”

Now while I appreciate a relatively calm exchange of ideas (meaning someone didn’t try to out Catholic and out Immigrant me. And seriously, I may not be responsible for my actions if another tall, beautiful, blue eyed, white skinned person tells me I’m over reacting.)  And no one said, “Whatever, beaner, go back where you came from, which I would have to respond with, “North Fort Worth? ”  Let me point out a couple of things:

The sentiment: By all means, help the children, but don’t put them next to mine.  Not helpful.

The  hardness of the refugee children? Maybe this is PTSD caused by walking for over a month looking for safety only to be screamed at by God knows who, but probably some selfish American.

And, my favorite, “All children are not innocent.”  Well, they all start out that way.

Go out, smile at a child. Be nice.

“It’s chaos. Be kind.”-Michelle Macnamara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This state I’m in

Published July 6, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am on vacation. I’m in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to rest,hide from my responsibilities and, most importantly, see my sweetie. Our long distance relationship has officially survived 18 months of separation, not too bad for a couple that has only officially been together for two years. (We rule!)

The best part about being here is that I hav absolutely nothing that I have to do. No cats, family members or students (past and current) meowing for attention. (I have a very strange life. I don’t even have to take out the trash.

It may come as a surprise, but I generally handle my anxiety by detaching. I am pretty sure I know where this came from, but I kind of promised I would wait on the telling. Anyway, this detachability, Writer Chick now comes with convenient snap out feelings for your convenience, has served me well. It got me through the death of my best good friend Steve Garrett, as well as being separated from the two greatest loves of my life.

In an effort to be mindful, I am actively absorbing everything around me. BatBeard is growing weary of the reason for my current vigilance; I don’t think the First World Experiences (world’s shortest carnival ride) are going to be available for much longer. I know this is kind of a downer coming from someone who is about to celebrate the 15th year survival anniversary of That Time my Brain tried to Kill me. Things are changing, and I hear that Civil War is imminent. (Of course, that’s just coming from that boob, Alex Jones. That’s not only an insult to boobs, but I know a really cool chick named Alex Jones, and I bet she is quite bitter and resentful about the unfortunate coincidence.)

So when BatBeard and I ventured out on the Fourth to see the fireworks display at Broadway on the Beach, I was set to absorb all details because I kind of do want to remember what happened on the Fourth of July, 2018.

It was pretty uneventful, crowds, kids and anticipation. We bought drinks at a place with a patio so we could watch the fireworks. Lots of booming and fun stuff. We had to go back around to the front entrance to return our glasses to the bar. The plan was to do this and then go out, perhaps for karaoke and adult beverages, or skee ball and ice cream. Both equally tempting. As we were turning around to leave, the manger was rushing to close the door and a woman was asking if anyone had seen her child.

Having worked in retail, I assumed this was a regular Code Adam. (Doors are shut and locked and no one leaves until the child is found.) The store across the way was also shooing people in and locking doors. The lights were going out across that whole section. Finally someone told us that it was possible that there was an active shooter and everyone needed to duck down out of sight of the windows.

Since I am school teacher I knew exactly what to do in case of an active shooter. (Think how insane that sentence sounds.)

BatBeard is considerably less malleable. He went to find out what was going on, which, in retrospect was possibly wise, because we had not heard anything official from anyone. I texted my loved ones because I know that if the Mom had heard what was happening and didn’t know if I was safe, an almighty doom would have been wreaked on the entire South Atlantic coast.

Anyway, it turned out that around the time the fireworks started, a fight broke out, someone said they saw a gun and then everyone lost their minds. They shut down everything at Broadway on the Beach and evacuated for the evening. As BatBeard and I were leaving, we saw several pairs of shoes that were evidence that people had run and panicked.

Now here’s the thing; I am in no way saying the fear isn’t real. As I mentioned, I am school teacher and the fear is definitely real. It is hard to understand and I know that everyone processes things differently. I want to know why. Why are we afraid? Why do we have to be afraid?

I’m not afraid right now.

I’m confused.

And that’s a terrible state to be in.

The Great Divide(d)

Published June 30, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

In the last week I have heard so many horror stories that I keep waiting for the walls to bleed (although, to be fair, my house is in such terrible shape, I’m kind of expecting that.) Unfortunately the horror is coming from within my own country.

I am afraid. I have very real fear, not just because the entire country seems to be roiling with varying levels of crazy (like as of July 1, it will be be legal to discriminate against homosexuals in Mississippi)

Today I participated in a march protesting the separation of families at the border.

It actually makes my brain stop (neurons slowing down, complete and total inability to interact with multiple stimuli) when I try to process this.

Our Vice-President, Mike Pence, actually said, ” “Let me be clear: The United States is the most welcoming home for immigrants in human history,” Pence told pool reporters. “We are proud of this legacy. But we are also proud to be a nation of laws and a nation with recognized and respected international borders.
Don’t risk your lives or the lives of your children by trying to come to the United States on the road run by drug smugglers and human traffickers,” Pence continued. “If you can’t come legally, don’t come at all.”

(https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/06/28/mike_pence_warns_migrants_if_you_cant_come_legally_dont_come_at_all.html)

Really? What happened to the whole reason people came to this country in the first place?

Today I saw several people peacefully marching in protest of the current situation that our country is perpetrating, the separation of families at the border of Mexico and the US.

The arguments range from the “They’re taking our jobs!” to “If they weren’t  breaking the law, they wouldn’t lose their children.”

Children are in cages. They are being detained in camps.  I know the US has a history of dividing families, Japanese Internment Camps, Slavery, Native American’s sent to boarding schools, but we also have a history of botulism and polio.  We stopped that because it was terrible.

The worst thing about this is that the divide is showing me where people stand.

For many years I have been the holder of secrets (No not in formal, here’s the tiny cedar chest, hide it in your closet, you are magic way, but wouldn’t that be cool?) For some reason, people unload their emotional baggage on me. I have never betrayed those secrets, from the very minor embarrassing middle name of a guitar player I know to a secret that I pretend I don’t know because it does make me think about that person a little differently.)  I don’t like knowing the secrets but I am finding that I like knowing who people really are a whole lot less.  I know that I am making people uncomfortable with my loud stance on the current situation (I probably shouldn’t have smacked myself on the head with the book about the US rescuing thoroughbred horses from Nazi Germany, shrieking, “What?! WE saved the damn horses before we saved children?”  The other shoppers at Sam’s didn’t appreciate it, although it didn’t even slow the kiosk people down.)

What is making me uncomfortable is knowing that I may lose people I truly love because of the divide.

Yes, I am American (third generation) but I am made of Mexican parts. I am terrified that my citizenship is not going to matter.

I’m scared.

 

That is the window into my personality.

Published June 27, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I took my own clipboard to DPS (DMV in most other places, Texas has to be all fancy and have it’s own initials for things like STAAR, TEKS and other horrible things.) I planned ahead to get my driver’s license renewed. It expires on June 28th and in addition to it being my 49th birthday, I have summer school to wrap up and my classroom to close out and I don’t need the added Tsuris of going to DPS on my birthday.

I will be heading out to Myrtle Beach on Sunday to go see BatBeard, and I don’t want any complications should I be questioned for committing the crime of Traveling While Mexican.  (More about that later, of course.) So I decided to be proactive and go early so maybe, just maybe I would get my license before I leave.

Since summer school lets out at noon, I thought I would breeze by after school and simply get things taken care of.  (Hold for sardonic laughter)

There were so many cars in the parking lot I couldn’t even pull in.

So I went home to nap and plan for going the next day.

The Mom suggested that I fill out the paperwork online and print it out so that my trip would be manageable. (Translation: NO SCREAMING AT THE DPS!)  This sounds easy enough, except for some reason, my Google Chrome is not allowing any of my saved tabs to go through and is iffy about letting me access the internet, so now I’m using Safari, which seems to be working but I’m doing some juggling trying to remember passwords. Now comes the problem of the printer.  I have two printers. Both show full bars on ink.  The one I have been using for over a year has decided it doesn’t feel like printing clearly or intensely (maybe it needs therapy or medication). The other printer isn’t speaking to me.  I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because I let the kitten hang out in the office while she was getting used to the place, or learned to climb the gate. Guess which happened first?

Anyway. I coaxed a sample page out of the printer so I thought I would give it a shot. I dowloaded the PDF and filled it out. (FIO). Then I tried to print it. It did, but without any of the information I had just spent 20 minutes filling out. If it had been thirty, I would have actually screamed out loud (ASOL). So I filled it out again and this time took a screen shot of the page. I then printed out the screenshot. This time it worked, but it looked a bit small.

Nil Desperandum (Latin for Don’t Freak Out) (DFO). All of the important stuff was there, so I clipped it to my fancy yellow clipboard (FYC) and put it under Aerial, the Rabbit who watches important stuff (RWWIS).

The next day, I got to the DPS three minutes before it opened. Still no place to park and the line to get in was all the way around the building. I was able to get in with the first group in time to hear the first round of barked instructions, one of which was to turn in your clipboard when finished filling out the paperwork. Thanks to the Mom and my own ability to advance panic (I think the tense apple doesn’t fall far from the anxious tree.) (TAAT) I was able to smile primly over my preprinted paperwork and say, “I brought my own clipboard”.

IBMOC

 

 

I’m NOT Loving it.

Published May 17, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

“It didn’t happen overnight”- So Sayeth Offred in the Handsmaid’s Tale. I’m not sure if that exact phrase appears in the novel, because I’m ankle deep in reviewing fraction reduction with children who are under the impression that Math in and of itself is fluid, with rules that can be debated and argued.  They also think that some test questions are optional,but that line of thinking will just give me Angina of the brain, so I’ll just leave that there.

One of the ongoing trials and tribulations that my long distance relationship finds challenging is that BatBeard and can’t have actual conversations about topics and events. (We are both ever so smart.) Some things are getting lost without the face to face conversation.

As you may have noticed, I don’t need an excuse or much of a reason to get good and cranked up about things. {In fact, I have been fully prepared for revolution since I started teaching. You, know because of that history repeating itself concept and the Mongol Horde destroying Rome because the Mongols had nothing left to lose and the Romans were so flush with cash and food that they would throw up to make room for more food so the Mongols decided”Hey, we’re hungry, let’s storm the city, wreck the place and start the Dark Ages, and there we were in 1992 with gangs a’plenty ( World’s worst stripper name) and ALL of the grants for non-profit organizations were going to builidng Bass Hall, and no one seemed to care that our children were suffering so they whole thing seemed a folly and it wouldn’t have surprised me if North Fort Worth stormed into Sundance Square and took the whole place down.}

I think I have made my point.

So anyway, unless you have been in cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears, you have noticed that there is a LOT of news about Race.  Por ejemplo, (yes that Espanol was used for effect), the incident of the  two Native Americans who were on a college tour and an Anglo woman was nervous so she called the police because she was scared of their Heavy Metal t-shirts and dark skin.  (Prompting me to state that the only scary Mexican in a dark t-shirt is me.) And then the YALE grad student who was having a snooze in a dorm common room while a Doctoral student called the police because a black person was sleeping on the premises. YALE, people.

And today, the news reports that Trump called immigrants animals. As in the people who walked for weeks to get to the US Border seeking asylum.

I know there is a certain amount of news bias. I know this. I’m aware that news stories such as this are probably dog wagging, and that we are probably not getting the whole story.  But  it’s only been a few decades that interracial marriage has been legal.  If the Us vs them mentality continues who knows where it can go?

This is the hueso of contention between Batbeard and I.  He thinks I should stay away from the news because of it makes me growly and stabby.  I think I should remain vigilant, if not growly (Stabby is just part of the territory for teachers at this time of the year.)  I also think it is easy to choose to stay away from the news if you are Anglo, Male and have blue eyes.

I wonder if there will come a day when someone will call him a race traitor: Race traitor is a pejorative reference to a person who is perceived as supporting attitudes or positions thought to be against the interests or well-being of that person’s own race.

I sure hope not.

But it won’t happen over night

 

Ah, a question for the ages!

Published May 10, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have had so many things to write about, but, to be honest, I have been far too precious with my words. I didn’t want to explore my ideas on the interwebs unless they were perfect, but then I realized that I am going to work like some kind of farm animal for the next several weeks (barring a sink hole sucking up my house and solving a majority of my issues).

However, my words of gratitude to the strangers from whose kindness I have benefited, not to mention the largesse of my family which is allowing me to have reliable transportation under My Large-esse, are held back by some words of bitter rage and other carp that I should get out of the way before it takes up any more brain space.

One of the squares of my checkered past includes two trips through a play called “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” It was great fun and I played God.  The great T. Seret Gomez played a wheelchair bound rabbi who quipped, “Why do good things happen to bad people?”

Over the years I have never  met anyone who fit this description as well as The Absence of Good and Holy. This moniker is to demonstrate my ability to rise above the horror and grief, but if you stick with me to the end, I will name a name.

I trusted the wrong person. We have all done that, but I should have known better. I had heard stories that this person was a liar, a thief, a cheater and just an all around loser.

I have no idea why I didn’t see this and for a long while I find myself isolated by my own good will and hope and took what this person said as truth. I robbed myself of good relationships and God only knows what else because I didn’t want to see the truth.

Now that I’ve been out of it for many years I still have the thought in my head that I want to pound him into the ground, or at least pulverize him into a fine powder and sprinkle him all over the Southwest.

The main reason I can’t seem to forgive and let go isn’t because he owes me somewhere in the neighborhood of 10K,  it is because he is leaving a life of apparent happiness.  I only know hearsay, mostly because I’m pretty sure he is staying as far away from me as possible and I only hear bits and pieces.

A woman whose friendship I wished I had had the opportunity to enjoy when I lived in NM just celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary. She has a beautiful family with four gorgeous children who genuinely like each other.  This woman also had a four year long affair with the Absence of All That is Good and Holy.

AATGH almost destroyed her whole family through his desire to have something that belonged to someone else.

And this affair almost killed me.  Not metaphorically, but actually.

The night my head blew up while I was performing, she was in the audience with HER HUSBAND. AATGH was nervous and dressed to the teeth because the only way her husband would let her come to the show was if he accompanied her. (Smart guy, if only he had caught on sooner.)

When it was clear that something was wrong and we canceled the show, I saw her and her husband leave.

If only AATGH had taken a moment to be a man and ask her for help, regardless of what her large, wealthy husband would do to him, things might have been wrapped up a bit faster.

You see, AATGH’s lover is a nurse.

Yes, this selfish bag of hair would have let me die on the floor backstage because he wouldn’t ask a medical professional to help because it might put an end to where he was currently putting his penis.

I have no idea how he covered this up with her, because, to quote Chris Rock, “He lied so much it was damn near a language.”

I don’t know how he has managed to avoid getting run over by the wheel that is Karma.

I have heard that he didn’t have to wreck anyone’s life to be in his current relationship, but he enjoys a bit of fame in certain circles as a blues singer.

I don’t know what specific events in the charmed life of Alejandro Sandoval, II have entitled him to sing the blues, but I do know that he has left a LOT of blue in his wake.